GALVA, Ill. – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc., a pet food manufacturer, for exposing workers to combustible dust and respiratory hazards.

Additionally, OSHA cited the company for willful electrical and equipment violations for failing to provide approved equipment for working near combustible dust. The agency launched an investigation into the company in November 2013 after receiving a complaint. The inspection uncovered one repeat and five willful violations. OSHA proposed penalties of $254,000, and the company remains on the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA said workers were exposed to combustible pea flour dust because the company failed to install a dust collection system with explosion protection. The company also failed to implement engineering controls and mandate respiratory protection use, among other violations. OSHA has inspected All-Feed 14 times since 2000, resulting in more than 70 violations.

OSHA noted that the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, found All-Feed in civil contempt for failing to allow OSHA inspectors to inspect the facility between May 4 and July 5, 2011 to monitor employees' exposure to airborne dust. When inspectors did gain entry to plant, they found workers were exposed to dust particles in excess of the time-weighted allowance per shift.